Recent comments

  • COMMENT: 9 reasons not to vote for Greg Granstrom this fall   2 years 27 weeks ago

    The idea that the list of candidates in a democratic election should only include the names of people who are acceptable to those informed in the art responsible governance is the very idea that is driving thousands of people to protest in the streets of Hong Kong.

    What drives people to block streets in Hong Kong is the idea that the choice of candidates in an election must be limited to acceptable individuals because too many people, having been distracted and influenced by propaganda, would likely vote for candidates who are not acceptable to those who know what is best for the community.

    Hong Kong is a long way from Rossland in more than just distance. However, to suggest that certain people should not run for election in order to protect the community from the ignorance its members is to undermine democracy's principles at its core.

  • COMMENT: 9 reasons not to vote for Greg Granstrom this fall   2 years 27 weeks ago

    Have a look at this web page. It gives you the official results of the 2011 municipal election in Rossland:

    Laurie Charlton is one of the people mentioned in Andrew's comment. Look at where he ended up on the list.

    Then take a look at the top right-hand corner. There were, in 2011, an estimated 2613 electors in Rossland, and a mere 965 bothered to vote. That is just short of 37 percent.

    If after a performance such as Andrew has described, and you are confirming, just one in three people in Rossland make the effort (and wow, what an effort it is) to vote, and if enough voters make their decision based on who bought the last beer (remember, its a secret ballot) then indeed Rossland does deserve the council it gets. And may Lady Fortune shine on the next building inspector!

    It is up to those who care, and particularly up those who agree with you and Andrew, to get off your asset and get out to vote. And drag your neighbours, friends, cousins, customers and hiking buddies with you.

    If Laurie could not cut the mustard with a 37% turnout, what chances would Greg have with a 50% turnout? And if the turnout should double to 74% (probably tops in BC) and Greg is elected, then how could you argue that Rossland did not get the council it deserves?

  • COMMENT: 9 reasons not to vote for Greg Granstrom this fall   2 years 27 weeks ago

    So well written, Andrew. I miss reading your intelligent, thought-out, well-researched pieces in the Telegraph! Thank-you for summarizing all of those things that have happened over the past 3 years. And thank-you for identifying the bullying tactics. I saw some of that behaviour at the council meeting on Tuesday, when it became obvious that Greg did not want to budge from the existing signage policies. As you said: "he just wants to get the debate over and done with, when he doesn't want to listen to what is being said, and when he isn't willing to change his point of view..." I started to see those bullying tactics start to come out "to get it over with". 

    I would like to see him pull out. Yes - democracy is great and Andre is right about leaving it up to the people. Except that many people will vote for Greg because they have never seen him in action in council and they have listened to his side of the stories (although it really isn't a legitmate "side") and have had a good time drinking and playing golf with him. That is not informed voting. Perhaps people have even been bullied into voting for him - who knows?

  • COMMENT: 9 reasons not to vote for Greg Granstrom this fall   2 years 27 weeks ago

    I disagree with you suggestion that Greg should withdraw his name from the coming election. My reason has nothing to do with any of the points listed in your comment. I speak to the principle of democracy.

    Voting in elections, by contrast to voting on council, is secret. The process goes to great length to ensure the secrecy of choices made by voters.

    For the political health of the community it is the citizens of Rossland who must decide whether Greg remains on council or is retired. People may agree or disagree with your summary of Greg’s past council performance. Whether they decide to sit this one out, to elect Greg, or to send him packing - let them decide, let them speak. Voting in a democracy is not a privilege, it is a responsibility.

    Nobody forced Greg to run. By withdrawing from the race at 5 minutes to midnight, Greg would deny voters their responsibility to decide.

    Let the choice be the voters’, not of Greg’s. Allow Rossland to have the council it deserves.

  • Province deliberating on Jumbo compliance decision   2 years 27 weeks ago

    Nature's Justice demands a STOP!!!!!!!

    Corporate justice is killing mother nature.

  • Canadian crime rate drops, but still $85 Billion cost to taxpayer   2 years 27 weeks ago

    "the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank." The Fraser Institute is a very partisan organization.

  • Government grants environmental assessment certificate to BC Hydro for the Site C Clean Energy project   2 years 27 weeks ago

    It is my understanding that the government is paying near $80 million dollars per year to buy hydro electricity that they can't sell.  Why does this government need another hydro electric dam?

  • Indie author brings know-how to Kootenay writers   2 years 27 weeks ago

    I followed the lirk provided; however, I could not find your class.

    Need more info please.

    Les Anderson

  • Slocan Valley resident lays private charges over jet fuel spill   2 years 29 weeks ago

    No action until now? Shame on corporate controlled governments.

  • LETTER: Water meters not the answer, enforce conservation   2 years 30 weeks ago

    Well done!

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   2 years 31 weeks ago

    Kyra, your account reminded me of my favourite Orwell quote:

    “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   2 years 31 weeks ago

    Every major military expedition that the US has been involved in over the last century has been conducted under the false pretence of a false flag operation:

    WWI: the sinking of the Lusitania
    WWII: the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which the Americans either provoked and/or knew about.
    Vietnam War: the Golf of Tonkin Incident was a non-incident

    The recent invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (because they were guilty of 9/11?) are no different.

    Same nonsense now is going on with the bogus ISIS in Iraq. A classic case of Hollywood trickery so well illustrated in the movie Wag the Dog.

    People need to realize that characterizing these truths as “conspiracy theories” is the defence mechanism of the media. Their only recourse is to dismiss them as “paranoid” and ad hominem fallacies of ridicule instead of addressing the facts.

    There’s nothing outlandish in mentioning these truths.

    On the contrary, the tragedy is the extent to which we’ve been so inebriated with frivolous entertainment that we’ve come to grossly underestimate the degree of maliciousness some men are willing to resort to. To them, this world is a high-stakes game, and all bets are off.

    Here’s the famous from retired US Marine Corps Major General and two time Medal of Honor recipient Smedley D. Butler, from 1935:

    "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small 'inside' group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

  • BCTF and BC gov reach tentative deal   2 years 32 weeks ago

    Article E 80 has been removed, which is great news. All thanks to the teachers of the BCTF for sticking to their guns at significant personal cost.--ed.

  • GF Fall Fair new organizers pull off fun event   2 years 32 weeks ago

    The Grand Forks Fall Fair was not cancelled this spring because there weren't enough volunteers to come forward and organize it. The Grand Forks Fall Fair was cancelled because there weren't enouph people to help the organizers. The Fair was organized but it need volunteers to make it all happen. The River Valley Community Church stepped up and helped with the labour... not the organizing!

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   2 years 32 weeks ago


    Wow, people still go for the conspiracy myth, eh?

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   2 years 32 weeks ago

    Not cynical Tom, nor controversial. Just taboo. But it's a fact. A difficult one for many to accept, but a fact nonetheless, as history will eventually record.

    A great weight of physical and circumstantial evidence supports the conclusion: a very small group of leaders in Bush's administration and the US military, perhaps as few as three or four, not necessarily including Bush, caught wind of the impending terrorist action and engaged a select crew of special forces to plant thermite explosives in the WTC buildings to exacerbate the event and roll in the new world order.

    Leaders of the military-industrial complex had been waiting for just such a "Pearl Harbour" for many years...when it came, it just turned out they needed to help it out to get the kind of drama a plane simply sticking out of a building just doesn't deliver.

    And, as any ad man will tell you, September's a great month to roll out a new product...or ask Pinochet.

    I was a dishwasher on Hornby island on that terrible day. And the first thing I thought, in a split second, was "that looks like a controlled demolition." Skyscrapers are designed to burn and not fall, and to absorb airplane impacts. Airplane fuel does not burn nearly hot enough to melt steel, nor does anything else in these buildings. Is there any such steel building that has collapsed in that manner due to a fire? And how would it burn so symmetrically? The pancake theory falls entirely flat. As did the third building, despite no impact or significant fire. And when the dust settled, it was filled with residues and byproducts of high tech thermite explosives.

    The Reichstag fire lit by the Nazis and blamed on communists gets covered in our history texts as a genuine conspiracy that helped push Hitler into power. Why? Because Hitler eventually lost. Because, we think, only someone as mad as Hitler would conceive of a self-inflicted wound to advance sociopolitcal and military objectives...

    No, it's an old trick, and one we should expect, if we are savvy readers of power, politics, and history.

    While the victors of 9/11 remain in power, the ones who got everything they ever dreamed of—increased security and military spending, much stricter controls on civil society and a vast ramp-up on Big Brother—they can continue to seed the media with enough doubt (a la tobacco companies) and truly ridiculous conspiracy theories that discredit the fully reasonable ones... well, then we have a situation where more than a decade later the majority of people continue to be duped.

    Go ahead, give me a thumbs down for speaking the truth. But until people understand the real significance of 9/11—The Nail in the Coffin of Democracy—then what is left our freedom will continue to wither and dry, a slow death characterized by perpetual war, diminishing rights, increasing poverty, centralized oligarchic control, and all the other trappings of a miiltary-industrial future that our sci-fi authors have warned us against for generations.

  • OP/ED: A first and last comment on 9-11.   2 years 32 weeks ago

    Well expressed Kyra.  I think we all suffer from the frustration and or syndrome that you refer to.  However: no matter how broad your experience or thinking, analysis or perception, the (NIMBY) principal brings alot to bare here.

    I also find it very depressing that individuals like the shrub, (George Bush Jr. & Company) would be so opportunistic to harness such tragedy for their own gain, especially when general speculation is that they may have engineered it.

    Terrible to be so synical, but?


  • LETTER: Strike is 'nefarious' and 'manufactured' and should frighten parents   2 years 33 weeks ago

    Thanks for your thoughts, Jason. I agree that this strike is about something bigger than teachers--and even kids. It's about our Constitution and the desire of government to whittle away at it if they can. Where does the whittling stop? Nowhere. Hence the need for a general strike: this is a matter of grave concern to ALL Canadians.

    There's no doubt the class size/composition issue was inserted as an insurmountable obstacle--and purposely so--by the Clark government. Whether to lead to a voucher system or to break the back of a troublesome union, only time will tell. Labour organization began in BC over a century ago with the broken heads of miners in Rossland. Will it end in 2014 with the broken backs of teachers?

    What's clear here, though, is that the BC 'Liberals' are intent upon union busing one way or another. Anyone who thinks that class size and composition aren't legitimate workplace issues that teachers have a right to their say nuts. Would you tell a Teck or Celgar worker that they couldn't bargain about steel-toed boots or air quality? We're at the point now where massive classes filled with under-supported, deeply-challenged students are the norm, not the exception in BC. It's rapidly becoming a job that no one can do capably and happily/healthily. Those who don't believe this need only spend a day in the average West Kootenay classroom to get a real sense of what teachers deal with ever day of their careers--for the lowest pay in Canada, pretty much.

    The issues at stake here are complex and easily manipulated by Clark ('they want too much money!') but my hope is that, as we move along, they're becoming steadily clearer. Thanks for your work in aiding this process!--ed.

  • LETTER: Strike is 'nefarious' and 'manufactured' and should frighten parents   2 years 33 weeks ago

    Clark has made no secret of the fact her kids attend private school. I feel her actions around health care are a harbinger of similar destruction of existing systems - and I think it's no mistake she can afford and benefit from privatization. I just don't get why so few other people can see what the BC "Liberals" (and I use that term lightly) are doing. Food for thought.


    Kyra Hoggan

  • LETTER: Strike is 'nefarious' and 'manufactured' and should frighten parents   2 years 33 weeks ago

    Thank you very much for your views on the current issues in the educational system in this province. Your viewpoint, as a parent of school age children, carries far more strength than comments by people that don't have children affected by the present situation. I hadn't thought about the connection between the Premier's use of private schooling and her extremely negative reaction to anything that may be construed as 'union support' . By allowing the teachers to continue with their (apparently futile) efforts to achieve a collective bargaining solution she is, perhaps knowingly, well on the way to bankrupt the Teacher's Association. If that happens, the 'voucher' system you mention could well be the end of real educational opportunities for all of the children who live "beyond Hope" aka the 'rest of the Province'.

    Thank again, Jason.


  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Witherton, I stand corrected -- but not by the materials you provided, which were Alberta law, not BC law.  I checked ... and whether or not the City of  Trail owns the bottom of Violin Lake depends on the terms of the original Crown grant of land.   If the lake was outlined in red in the original grant, then the City can own the lake-bottom.  If not, then it is owned by the Province.  It appears from the BC Land Act that the Provincial government is now keeping title to lake and stream beds for itself ... easier to give permits to mining companies to use them as tailings dumps that way  :-(   ...  Of course, the Province does keep title to all the water in lakes and streams, and makes various regulations that apply to the use of that water. The Federal government also has a say over some uses of lake and river water.

    As for the US, different states have different laws.  Some of them allow people to claim ocean beaches as "private".  Some American buyers of ocean-front land in BC have been very disappointed to learn that they do not own the beach in front of their property below the high-tide line.

  • BCTF president sends teachers back to picket lines beginning this week   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Time to send a message to the BC libs that they will listen to. A message from big business, in other words from the people that have Christie Clark's personal phone number on speed dial, wherever she tries to hide.

    How do we do that? Well, it would be nice to see other unions join the teachers in a general strike, but contract language  generally prevents that. But parents (and often grandparents) can take family time off to take care of children who find themselves not in school as expected. Or, if it is safe to so, bring your kid(s) to work. Your employer doesn't like that idea? Tell them to phone Clark up to let her know how disruptive her fight against public education is to business. I bet you the Liberals would be back at the negotiation table and a deal made within a week.

  • Visits to Violin Lake are actually trespassing   2 years 34 weeks ago

    Thanks for the clarification. From the letter it seemed they were saying it was all private property. City owned property is not private, by definition. Of course the city can still choose to close it to the public.

  • BCTF president sends teachers back to picket lines beginning this week   2 years 34 weeks ago

    i wish the teachers success in their labour action, but it's hard to see it happening any time soon, simply because Fassbender and the Clarkista government are not interested in really negotiating seriously....they have an agenda....union busting....and they do that by making the teachers look bad in the eyes of the public, insofar as they are able to do so...



  • COMMENT: Lessons from Mount Polley   2 years 34 weeks ago

    thanks for this article, and i can see the mess the Clarkistas are in, with their eternal brown nosing of big Corporations....and their eternal cutting of jobs and effectivity, resulting in no real oversight of Big Business in B.C....

    unfortunately, although the Clarkistas are not so good at actually governing, and representing the PEOPLE of B.C...they are VERY good at lying propaganda which represents them as the saviours of B.C....which people in B.C. appear to believe in sufficient numbers to keep re-electing these Harpocrites in "Liberal garb"....

    these Neo Cons can not be trusted to run a home business, much less the government of our Province....and yet the voters are so stupid, or self serving that they vote them back in every me they are crooks, liars, and cheats...but to B.C voters, they appear to be "gold plated"'s totally beyond me....


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